People visiting the countryside have been asked to leave their barbecues at home and take 'extreme care' to avoid starting a fire.

With soaring temperatures and tinder-dry conditions, many parts of the UK countryside are at high risk of blazes from dropped cigarettes, barbecues and campfires, rural insurer NFU Mutual has warned.

Recent moorland, grass and forest fires caused devastating damage to wide areas of the British countryside and served as a stark warning about the dangers of wildfires.

The Mutual's Rebecca Davidson said: “We’re urging people to act considerately when out and about in the countryside. Please don't take disposable barbecues on walks or start campfires, and don't leave litter and rubbish lying around.”

NFU Mutual claims statistics reveal the cost of farm fires totalled £46.4m in 2018, which was another dry year, and saw a 27.5% annual rise.

Fire prevention checklist:

• Don’t drop used matches or cigarettes – they can smoulder and start a fire;

• Don’t start campfires or use disposable barbecues on grass, moorland or in forests;

• Call 999 if you spot a fire while out in the countryside;

• Avoid parking in narrow country lanes where emergency services vehicle access could be blocked;

• Don’t drop litter – discarded bottles can focus sunlight and start a fire;

• Keep to footpaths when walking in the countryside.